Friday, April 6, 2007

How to Make Your Mortgage Web Site More Successful


We all know that success leaves clues; you just have to know where to look. Ever read about an elite professional athlete who is at the top of their game, yet they are the ones staying after the game to study the game film, shoot free throws or take extra batting practice? All the while other athletes who are good, but not great, are on their way home to relax? The elite athletes become even better, and further widen the margin between their ability and those are almost as good. Elite athletes are successful because they constantly improve and learn. You can do the same for your web site by studying successful web sites do and then implement that onto your web pages.

In this article we are going to cover a number of different factors that can lead to an increased success rate for your web site.


"I Find That The Harder I Work, The More Luck I Seem To Have." --Thomas Jefferson

Successful web sites constantly improve themselves. Successful web sites constantly evolve. They add more features or enhance usability or write more creative content so they can better be of service to their potential clients.

Just as the top athletes in the various sports earn the highest salaries, it's true in your industry; the top mortgage web sites are those that write the most loans.


"If At First You Don't Succeed, Redefine Success."

Often those web sites that don't perform very well subscribe to the adage, "If at first you don't succeed, redefine success." In other words, they lower their expectations and simply declare that the Internet doesn't work very well. As verification of their beliefs these sites receive very few leads from their site.


Having A Successful Web Site Is Not Doing One Thing Right, It Is Doing A Hundred Things Right.

Success typically is the result of a cascade of perfectly executed events. It is even more difficult for mortgage web sites because customers view you as a commodity.

Customers often equate finding a loan as the same way they see themselves having to buy butter or bread. Pretty much any butter or bread is going to suffice as long as it is available and reasonably priced. And if your mortgage web site meets their needs it will suffice as well.

You need to present your web site in a manner that distinguishes your site with value and competence; rather than as a commodity. In order to do so, you must do hundreds of things correctly. Such items include:


  • Say it nicely and succinctly: Offer intelligent, well-written content that is neither mindless or drone-like.

  • Have “good looks”: Your site must be professional in appearance as customers will judge your book by your cover.

  • Show your stuff: Prominently feature your rates on every page, as this is the most important feature for most visitors.

  • Clear Sailing: Your navigation must be easy, well-thought-out, and consistent from page to page.

  • Respond now: The main complaint we hear from customers is the time it takes for the mortgage company to respond to a request. You need to respond within, at the very most, 24 hours. If you respond within an hour, your chance of securing a client increases dramatically.

  • Have a nice garden: Remember to weed your site, just like you would a home garden. If you ignore your garden it gets out-of-control with overgrowth and weeds and becomes a mess. Over time, as you add new pages to your web site, you may need to weed and prune your outdated web pages.

This list can go on for quite a while, but it is a good place to start.


"Ask Not What Your Visitors Can Do For You, But What You Can Do For Your Visitors" --JFK Mortgage Broker

Successful mortgage sites understand you have to give to get. Giving includes offering many ways to contact you including a toll free number and an email address. You also need to offer extra features such as mortgage calculators and information on how to use a home equity loan to buy a car or to help finance college. Successful sites are always of service to their visitors.


Do you listen to your customer’s station, WIIFM?

We all know the basic mantra of your customer: WIIFM - what's in it for me? Customers don't arrive at your site, saying, "Oh, I have all day to find what I want." They arrive at your site saying, "Can this site solve my problem... fast?"


Minimal Information Equals High Success

Upon first glance it seems counterintuitive that by gathering only basic information that you could actually achieve a higher close rate. But due to the nature of the net, people want to give as little as possible as fast as they can and then place the burden on you to provide them with what they want. Remember that the information collected should be based on the customer's perception not some optimistic full-wallet biopsy requirement to get everything you can on the first visit. It is a little bit like Goldilocks and the three Bears. Some information is way too much and just collecting a name plus an e-mail address is way too little... and somewhere in between is just right. Ideally, you would like to extract every bit of potential customer information that you can, right down to the social system security number and a copy of last months pay stub.

Realistically, this is not going to happen and any online applicant is not going to take the time to present you with all the information that you want.


Mortgage Sites Should Market, Not Sell

Successful web sites don't sell, they market. Your web site is not so much a sales tool like an online florist where an instant sale can occur. For mortgage companies, your site is a marketing tool to gather potential leads. Don't expect your site to close loans, you still need a human touch. You should treat your web site as a source of leads that arrive to your staff and at that time, your staff can begin to perform the sales function.


Moment Of Truth

Successful sites make the moment of truth occur as early as possible, during the customers visit. What the 'moment of truth' is that point in time, when the visitor decides that you are worthy of their full attention and they are ready to conduct business with you. To make the moment of truth happen you must determine what your visitor really wants and present that information as soon as possible. Often you can examine your logs and statistics in an attempt to see where the conversion occurred from visitor to customer. The best place to decipher this information is to see which page leads to your online application. By examining the information contained on that page you can determine what made that page so successful.

Creating a successful web site doesn't happen overnight. For many people it can be a long and arduous road. There is good news in that you can find shortcuts to success by seeing what other successful web sites are doing, and then modeling those traits.


"Failure doesn't mean you are a failure... it just means you haven't succeeded yet." --Robert H. Schuller


Rod Aries and Robert Farris are co-founders of MortgagePromote.com, a leading Internet marketing provider to corporate mortgage clients. On request, they conduct nationwide training seminars covering Internet marketing strategies, lead generation, web site development techniques and more. Web site: http://www.mortgagepromote.com/

For online mortgage leads please visit our mortgage leads page.

Originally published October 2004.


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1 Comments:

At July 25, 2007 11:22 AM , gian said...

Thank you very much, your article has help our site: http://www.commercialdirectloans.com/

Very good tips!

 

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